Obama must confront al-Maliki over meddling in Syria

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Iraqi government has offered both direct and indirect support for the Assad regime
Washington DC 10/28/2013—The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) calls on President Obama to confront Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki over his support for the Assad regime when Prime Minister Maliki visits the White House on Friday, November 1. Prime Minister Maliki’s government in Baghdad has offered both direct and indirect support for the Assad regime’s war against the Syrian people.
The CDS calls on President Obama to use all of America’s diplomatic and economic leverage to force the Iraqi government to stop its support for the criminal Assad regime and its Iranian sponsor.  The scheduled meeting is intended to focus on a US-Iraq Strategic Framework agreement that will govern relations between the two countries, as well as “regional issues.”
Syrian American activists will join other pro-democracy activists to protest Prime Minister Maliki’s White House visit. CDS calls on all supporters of freedom and democracy to join with these activists to make sure the President and Mr. Maliki hear their message.
Iraq has a well-documented history of permitting Iranian arms shipments bound for Syria to pass through its airspace, as well as other collusion with the Islamic Republic. In recent months, the Baghdad government has tacitly permitted sectarian brigades to be recruited and trained in Iraq, for eventual combat deployment in Syria.
Continuing this increasing involvement in Syria on the side of the Assad regime and Iran, Iraqi army troops recently clashed with Free Syrian Army brigades at the al-Yarubiya border crossing. In its statement on the issue, the Syrian Coalition called the Iraqi government’s attack on FSA forces “a considerable mistake and a blatant and unprecedented interference in Syrian affairs.”

“President Obama and the international community must make it clear to Prime Minister Maliki that he cannot continue to meddle in Syria’s internal affairs. He must further insist that Mr. Maliki order all Iraqi militias withdrawn from Syria, take steps to prevent future militia deployments to Syria, and stop allowing Iranian resupply planes from flying through Iraqi airspace,” said Mohammed Alaa Ghanem Director of Government Relations for the Syrian American Council. “While the international community may hesitate to take more assertive action, using diplomatic and economic leverage on Iraq seems to be an obvious step to take to undermine the Assad regime.”